Every generation that comes into the world needs to learn its own history. This is not only fruitful to the mind in the way of intellectual knowledge, this is also beneficial to the mind in that it sets the compass directional finder in place.
Learning history stimulates the mind in areas that generates interest. For instance, one might have learned that Abraham Lincoln was murdered by southern sympathizer John W. Booth, but is there much knowledge about Booth’s escape and then capture? Not nearly as much, but one can learn and note there was no peace for him in his running, and there was certainly no peace for him in the way that he died.
Learning history is important when it comes to biblical matters also. In Judges 2:10, the Scriptures teach there arose a new generation of Israelites that did not know the Lord the way the previous generation did and neither did they know the deed or works that were done by the Lord. A tragedy of no small amount!
The tragedy was the result of two things (I suggest). First, it was the result of parental guidance, or the failure thereof. Education must always start in the home. If there is no foundational education put in place by the parents, then the education put in place—for it will be put in place—will come from an outside source that may not at all correspond to the parent’s way of thinking. Second, because of the failings in parents, it was the result of the student (child) who took her/his education from another source, having no interest in his or her heritage. Perhaps a third reason for this kind of tragedy is in the teacher and/or the teaching of those who are in position of leadership within the community.
The community that I want to address in this brief article is the church.
Each generation must be taught, actively taught, the ways of the Lord. Without learning from the parents, without learning from elders and the preacher, it is very possible that when teaching does occur, as it is stated in Judges 2:17, “Yet they did not listen to their Judges [religious teachers], for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.” (ESV)
Those who refused to listen to the Lord end up forsaking the Lord’s way entirely. The word “forsake” means to abandon what is viewed as precious by the Lord. Thus, the compass directional finder that was once in place has now begun to corrode and it is but a little time following the compass no longer works. When the compass no longer works, then the one who was living by it will do what? In Acts 27:15, there is a phrase that represents a literal occurrence in the life of the apostle Paul while on a ship to Rome, but the wording corresponds to a spiritual journey for those who lose their way. “And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.”
Some of the things that need to be taught young people (and older folk also) would be the historicity of Jesus, salvation from sin, the nature and importance of the Lord’s church, the day of judgment that is before us all. these are but a few very important points of teaching.
Each generation needs to be taught the Lord’s way; the vacation Bible school activities are very important for a local congregation, but it is even greater for the parents and the local church to be sure that teaching of the Lord’s way is a regular occurrence and not just during a small time in the summer months. RT